Renault's Robert Kubica was again on the pace today in practice for this weekend's European Grand Prix at Valencia in Spain.
Kubica was fourth in the opening session this morning, his best lap a 1 minute 41.715 seconds. He then set a 1m 39.880s lap in the afternoon, something that put him sixth on the timesheets, right up with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.
Speaking following FP2, the Pole noted that the updates to the R30 had definitely improved its handling: “It was a fairly normal Friday for us and we managed to do quite a lot of laps to understand the car and the new developments that we have for this race,” Kubica explained.
“It was quite easy to evaluate the new parts and I was able to feel the difference with the car. Track conditions were pretty good, overall: it was quite dusty to begin with, but things improved a lot during the day.”
Team-mate Vitaly Petrov meanwhile was 12th in FP1 and 13th in FP2, his best time for the day a 1m 40.618s. He wasn't so sure about the new developments, but he had to learn the track and admitted that he has still to get the car set-up to his liking.
“I had driven here before in GP2, but today was my first experience of Valencia in an F1 car,” stated the F1 2010 rookie. “Obviously it feels very different and I had to adapt my driving style.
“We had a lot of new parts to try out so the car felt quite different and I spent the sessions getting used to that and understanding the car's behaviour. Overall the car felt okay, but we're still working on the set-up and will continue that tomorrow morning.”
Renault's chief race engineer, Alan Permane added: “The cars started the day aerodynamically very similar and both cars ran with the new blown floor. By the end of the day they were both running with a reasonably similar set-up, although Robert tried a different downforce level towards the end of the day, which he preferred. We will look at the data tonight to decide whether we will try it with Vitaly tomorrow.
“All-in-all we had a good look at our new parts today, including our first iteration of the blown floor. The data was encouraging and it seems to be working as the wind tunnel and CFD predicted. We expect to continue running with our updates for the rest of the weekend.”